the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Staring at six weeks of recovery

Before I begin this… this screed? This rant? It may just end up being a regular post, I don’t know, but the vigor with which I want to hug every human being and yell WE’RE ALIVE! WE’RE ALIVE! makes me think that this may just end up being something totally ridiculous, and you’re going to walk away from this going, dude, that woman needs to get laid.

So we’ve already established that I am a dummy dumb dumbnut, having not worn a helmet when snowboarding. And I’ve promised that going forward I will not ever step on a mountain without proper gear on my head, the head that fortunately did not split in half when I crashed on Sunday. Although maybe something monumental like that would fix things up there, up in that vacant noggin, and I would finally stop posting things on my website with the explicit purpose of making my father uncomfortable: I VOTED FOR A DEMOCRAT. ALSO: POOP.

But after what happened yesterday, the x-ray that showed a giant fracture in my tailbone, I have to wonder why anyone is skiing or snowboarding without wearing the uniform of a Canadian hockey player. A helmet would not have prevented this injury. You know what would have? Abstinence! NOT EVER GETTING UP THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Jon says that when everything has healed I will want to head back up again, and I was all, um, not until that mountain gets a vasectomy. And even then I won’t go any further than foreplay.

Any and all interaction I have with this sport going forward will fall within the limits of the BYU Honor Code, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I really feel like I just experienced a near-death scenario, and I feel so lucky to 1) be alive, 2) have full use of my arms and legs, 3) can remember multiplication tables and 4) CAN SPEAK AND WALK. OH MY GOD! I am alive, you guys! I COULD HAVE DIED. And that was the look on the face of my doctor when she walked in with my x-rays. She sat down grimly, held her fingers about an inch apart, and said, “I bet you’re in a lot of pain.”

An inch-long break in my tailbone.

I knew something was wrong when my back began feeling worse rather than better, and then while showering Tuesday morning I found The Bruise. The four-inch in circumference circle of black and blue right on the inside of my butt. The technician who performed the x-ray had to lift up my gown at one point to make sure my back was in the right position, and I’m not even kidding, SHE JUMPED BACK TWO FEET. Was it because of the bruise or the fact that I lack actual buttocks, I WILL NEVER KNOW.

I should probably go back and offer her my pain pills.

So then my doctor prescribes me a donut, and I was all HOOO! POWDERED PLEASE!

And she was all no, it’s a pillow you carry around and sit on that relieves the pressure on the tailbone. Many people also use them to relieve the pain of hemorrhoids. Awesome. Fantastic. Because I’m due to board a plane to Houston this morning, and in my head I was trying to figure out the logistics of this, and here is what I came up with: I’ll just stand up with the donut over my head and yell THIS ISN’T FOR HEMORRHOIDS! THIS IS BECAUSE I AM A TOTAL BAD ASS AND CRASHED WHILE EXTREME SNOWBOARDING! And everyone on the plane would go, whew! Thank god she doesn’t have hemorrhoids!

Thankfully my pharmacist doesn’t carry donuts. Wanna know what they do carry? Pain meds! Except, pain meds make me sick! Good thing my doctor says that this pain should go away in, oh, about a week or two, although there is a possibility that my tailbone could heal incorrectly. And then I’ll have to have surgery! On my butt! Or rather, on my lack of butt!

But get this… I’M ALIVE! And so are you! And you, and you and you! WE ARE ALL ALIVE. It is such an incredible feeling, breathing and thinking and moving my fingers. I’m just warning everyone I see in the next 48 hours: I may hug you until you’re injured. But don’t worry, you can have my pain meds!

  • honeydunce

    2010/02/18 at 10:11 am

    glad to hear you’re okay. Tailbone injuries can be tricky. I hurt my knee last week just by walking around in the snow(that’s right. WALKING AROUND.). Bad sprain. So I’m stuck in a giant knee brace that makes me walk with one peg leg. Funny how we never fully appreciate the normal use/function of limbs and such until that normal use/function is taken from us.

    feel better soon.

  • Katie D

    2010/02/18 at 10:14 am

    I’m so happy you’re alive, Heather. And I’m extremely happy that you have to sit on a donut on an airplane simply because I know it will result in an awesome post about something hysterical that happened.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  • Hubbards

    2010/02/18 at 10:15 am

    Happy to hear you are okay. and that you have the use of all of your limbs, I have broken my tailbone twice…..I wont go into the details because it’s ugly, I have never been the same. Sitting for a long period of time is not in the cards for me. Good luck with that plane ride…..meds, LOTS of meds.

  • saturdayjane

    2010/02/18 at 10:16 am

    Holy smokes, that blows.

    I’m glad that your head isn’t in several mangled chunks on a ski slope, but the donut thing? Not so fun. Although honestly, fifteen years ago I thought donuts were totally awesome.

    My grandparents carried them around everywhere, and I was like, whoa! A special pillow! Just for your butt! Your own private BUTT PILLOW so that every where you sit is like a special BUTT THRONE (I guess it would pretty much just be a regular throne but I was pretty infatuated with the word ‘butt’ at the time) and I BEGGED my parents to get me a donut.

    They thought this patently hilarious. Not sure why. Eventually I just began borrowing my grandparents’ donuts and when we went out to Denny’s I would make a big show out of setting it on the cold plastic seats and settling into it with an air of, “This pillow means that MY BUTT DESERVES BETTER. Know me. Love me. Fear me.”

  • melbs

    2010/02/18 at 10:16 am

    The phrase “on the inside of my butt” is, at once, the most specific and also most vague description I have read in a long time.

    I thought I knew where the inside of the butt was, but now I am not entirely sure.

  • Joresi

    2010/02/18 at 10:18 am

    I broke my tailbone while giving birth- TWICE.

    It is painful. And not nearly as glamorous as extreme snowboarding!

    And I don’t know what your doc is on but my tailbone hurt off and on for over two years. My doctor said it can take that long to heal. Which was incredible timing because just as it healed and it stopped hurting I gave birth again and broke it again.

  • Figtron

    2010/02/18 at 10:23 am

    Dude…I am so in awe of you. The video was great, but why didn’t we see the crash? You could have KILLED on youtube. Dang.

    I fully understand the euphoria of BEING ALIVE. I had a near-death experience a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as yours. Let it suffice to say that my liver in no way compares to your butt.

    Hope your coccyx is healed up very quickly.

  • kaethend

    2010/02/18 at 10:26 am


  • JennyMoo

    2010/02/18 at 10:27 am

    (Psssst: Dooce has pain meds!)

    I’m headed out to SLC in a few weeks for SKI CAMP, woo! I’m planning on trying out snowboarding during one of our off afternoons. Do you recommend a preemptive butt pillow?

  • kirst

    2010/02/18 at 10:27 am

    A butt pillow.

    I can’t imagine a blogger I would more want to be assigned a butt pillow than you! Not that I am not feeling your pain.

    I just think a butt pillow can be, as they say, Very Funny.

  • grad.nauseam

    2010/02/18 at 10:30 am

    After watching all those alpine skiers bite it yesterday, I don’t blame you for wanting to stay on level ground. I’ve never been on a snowboard, only skis, and as much fun as it is, I don’t go very often because I’m very aware of how deceptively dangerous it really is. Glad you’re going to be okay!

    Also, I just wanted to share that my verification phrase to post this comment was “raising dyck”… seriously… just saying.

  • LuckyMama

    2010/02/18 at 10:30 am

    I took me YEARS to put my nightmare behind me and then BAM! you bring it back to me in a flash of humor. I wish I could laugh along with you, but I went through using the donut in 7th grade…talk about PTSD!?!?

    I wasn’t lucky enough to have a cool day on the snowboard…nope, I got kicked in the ass while playing soccer in gym class. The other girl missed the ball and kicked me instead…now that takes talent! How embarrassing is it for an 12 year old girl to get kicked in the ass…then have to walk to the nurse’s office trying not to clentch my butt in my hands. For two weeks I had to sit on a bright ORANGE (seriously, orange?) donut. My butt healed correctly so I didn’t need any surgery, but still today my tailbone gets sore if I sit too long on a hard chair. Thanks for bringing it all back Heather….damn you.

  • Becca

    2010/02/18 at 10:30 am

    seriously? no photo of THE BRUISE?

  • CaitlinMc

    2010/02/18 at 10:31 am

    Holy crap. Only you, Dooce. I have to say that the last bit smacks of the nutter who commented all over your bathroom redo. ONE DAY WE WILL ALL BE DEAD. AND WE WON’T EVEN HAVE THE CONVENIENCES OF MISMATCHED TILE OR BUTT DONUTS.

  • Ironic Mom

    2010/02/18 at 10:31 am

    This reminds me of playing ringette as a kid and wiping out…before anyone used bum pads or whatever the heck they’re called. Thinking of you as I am seated comfortably on my butt.

  • Crazy Card Lady

    2010/02/18 at 10:32 am

    I’m surprised you didn’t do a run down of all your other near death experiences….just add this one to the list. Now instead of being a pain in the butt, you have one. Ha! I sat on the couch a week and a half ago a couple hours after my usual 5 miles run and when I got up experienced pain so terrible it brought me to my knees (then I really couldn’t get up). Not happy with feeling like a crippled old lady. My doctor said I have to be patient. I don’t know how you are going to stand it with two little ones underfoot (oh ya, Jon!).
    Let’s breakout some donuts, please!

  • josephine

    2010/02/18 at 10:32 am

    Yikes – sorry to hear about that break. I’m a snowboarder and am QUITE lucky to have only suffered dislocations and sprains – no breaks so far *knock on wood* tho I ended up wearing a helmet my 2nd season on (YES, I was an idiot and didn’t wear it in the beginning) b/c of an awful crash where they thought I broke my pelvis and had a concussion.

    Now that I wrote all that, I’m wondering why I still love the sport. Hm….

    Way to get back up and ride it to the bottom though. That’s tough, especially when one of those sleds is staring ya in the face. 🙂

    LOL – “and weakling” was my catchpa

  • Shana in Texas

    2010/02/18 at 10:35 am

    Ouch! Glad you’re alive and hoping your butt will mend quickly. Can you treat your butt donut like a cast and have people sign it?

  • megnstuff

    2010/02/18 at 10:36 am

    Uffda. This is why I drink hot chocolate at the bottom of the mountain and watch other people snow board and ski.
    Glad you are okay. Maybe next time duct tape the donut to your bum before going skiing. You could start a new trend 🙂

  • Ashley_the Accidental Olympian

    2010/02/18 at 10:38 am

    PROMISE I can have them?

    I don’t like to be teased about these sorts of things.

  • amandalk

    2010/02/18 at 10:39 am

    OMG you broke your butt. I did too…except I was only LEARNING to snowboard. I thought I’d be this supercool snowboarding Mom. Heh. I never went back. I grew up in Colorado. I am a sham.

  • mommica

    2010/02/18 at 10:39 am

    Dude, there are going to be soooo many pain meds at Mom 2.0. I can’t BELIEVE I’m going to miss it.

  • EvilJulie

    2010/02/18 at 10:40 am

    So how long until you noticed the bruise? Just asking because I landed on my tailbone a ton while I was snowboarding last weekend, including once when I swear I heard a crack but it could have just been my teeth clicking together on impact.

    Is asking Dooce about my health issues better than asking Google?

  • 3xx1xy

    2010/02/18 at 10:46 am

    Wow! What a close call. Speedy recovery to you.

  • Syd

    2010/02/18 at 10:47 am

    Don’t get a donut cushion. The pressure will still be on the padded area. What you need is a cushion with a coccyx cut out. It’s usually a little triangle shape cut out of the back.

    Or, you can put a cushion under each butt cheek. But, the coccyx cushions are relatively inexpensive and totally worth it. Feel better soon.

  • drblakablak

    2010/02/18 at 10:52 am

    What Syd said, you need something like this Good luck.

  • michellyw

    2010/02/18 at 10:54 am

    The only time I went skiing I broke my leg in two places. It sucked. No more skiing for me!

  • amyj

    2010/02/18 at 10:57 am

    Dude, maybe if they operate they can give you a butt!

    Also, while you’re recovering, go ahead and watch the 6 (SIX!) horrifying falls from Women’s Alpine Skiing yesterday. And the tape of Shaun White smacking his face against the half-pipe in a recent competition. As thankful you are to be alive now, you’ll be even more thankful watching these gut-wrenching falls take place. Sent shivers up my spine, for sure.

    Good luck to your butt…

  • SomeCallMeTim

    2010/02/18 at 10:57 am

    Alive is good….

  • Josie Maran

    2010/02/18 at 10:58 am

    dude. get the donut! at least so chuck can wear it on his head!!

  • the_white_words

    2010/02/18 at 11:00 am

    I/We broke my tailbone popping out a 9lbs 3oz very large headed bouncing boy. Six weeks… pfft… girl, you have at least 6 mos. of healing! The convoluted ring cushion (donut) MUST accompany you everywhere. It’s a beeatch getting out of a chair regardless of what you have to assist you though. Good luck with that – hope your butt feels better soon!

  • Jacquie

    2010/02/18 at 11:00 am

    Oh, ouch. If the pain pills make you sick, stick with tequilla. I’m glad you’re okay, and sorry I missed the chance to yell at you about not wearing a helmet.

    Also, I had a very Beavis moment when you mentioned a bruise on the inside of your butt.

    Happy healing. Bottoms up. heh heh heh heh.

  • Dharma

    2010/02/18 at 11:00 am

    @Joresi said: “I broke my tailbone while giving birth- TWICE”

    Ummm, me too, twice.

    Dooce – you are fairly “bad ass” for breaking your ass snowboarding but my girl Joresi and I have you beat by a mile….lol

    Hold that butt pillow over your head in front of a room full of men yelling “I broke in HALF giving birth…..again!”. Too awesome to be believed 🙂

  • thecitygirl74

    2010/02/18 at 11:00 am

    Well, that sucks about your tail bone but just so you know, those donuts are really bad to use if you have hemorrhoids. They increase the pressure on the hemorrhoids and can make them a lot more painful. This won’t stop people from thinking you have hemorrhoids if you are using the donut, so I don’t even know why I am passing this info on, maybe trying to make you feel less self conscious about using it, although I think I have achieved just the opposite of that so I should probably stop talking right now.

    Hope you heal fast!

  • Greysmom

    2010/02/18 at 11:02 am

    glad to hear you’re alive!
    and atleast you’re done having kids…
    my sister broke her tail bone when she was younger and then while in labor she was reminded of that injury! i guess all the movement of the bones recreated the pain ten fold!
    good luck with the plane ride, i hope you don’t get so hungry you try to eat your donut:)

  • twelvedaysold

    2010/02/18 at 11:02 am

    For my birthday in December I decided to go roller blading at a roller rink in town (haven’t roller bladed since I was a kid). I ended up jamming my elbow something nasty and having to get two rounds of x-rays. First thing my sister tells me when I tell her how crappy the rink was (poor carpeting and that’s why I fell) she says “You should come up to the one by our house!!!” No, thanks. I’M GOOD.

  • Momsword

    2010/02/18 at 11:05 am

    I’m so sorry you hurt your backside. You can borrow some of my copious rear anytime you need it Hon. Can I just say I thought it was funny that all the google ads on this post were for kick ass ski\snowboarding resorts. It’s like – Hey, consumer, you wanna be like Heather…look at all these choices!!! Hope you feel better soon! Oh, and welcome to Texas! I recommend the barbeque!

  • mstinak

    2010/02/18 at 11:08 am

    Does having a broken tailbone making pooping more difficult?

    I’m sorry about your butt and all its drama.

  • meganbeth

    2010/02/18 at 11:10 am

    Back when I was in high school I used to cheerlead. And since I’m 100 pounds soaking wet, I was the one they USED TO THROW TEN FEET IN THE AIR. And once upon a time while we were practicing they dropped the other flyer. Like ten feet up, and twenty feet down. To the ground. Not one hand or finger to soften the blow.

    For the next two months she was officially called Amber the Blue Donut Girl who broke her ass.

  • dazleazure

    2010/02/18 at 11:10 am

    To try to make you feel better…my friend broke her tailbone while GIVING BIRTH…and my Aunt had HEMORRHOID SURGERY…and she sported the donut for quite a while for her poor ass.
    Not that breaking your tailbone while snowboarding isn’t bad…but just think, you could have broke it while GIVING BIRTH WITHOUT PAIN MEDS.
    Just sayin’…
    GET WELL SOON! Don’t sit too much…or you might get hemorrhoids too…now THAT would be the shits!

  • Tricia

    2010/02/18 at 11:14 am

    All that righteous indignation I was feeling about your helmetlessness… pffft, fizzled. I am SO SORRY you broke your tailbone! Winter sports can be so fun– it’s sad when somebody suffers the kind of injury that’s likely to keep them from ever hitting the slopes again. Not that I’d blame you; being able to land on your butt relatively painlessly is a pretty important prerequisite for skiing/snowboarding.

    Here’s to your tailbone mending in record time!

  • dfunkmcgunk

    2010/02/18 at 11:16 am

    Heather – I am glad you are alive. I…I…I think I love you.

    I also love pain medication. A couple days before xmas my docs found a cyst in my brain they can’t remove because it’s in a very precarious place – you know that place where if they remove it I will either a) go blind or b) become paralyzed. OMFG OMFG so awesome and fun.

    I get pain pills for the headaches I get. They don’t make me sick, in fact they do almost nothing at all. So if they gave you something stronger I will give you my address and we can start an illicit pharm drug trade. Maybe we could even set up some pharm parties across the US?

    My post is sounding creepy.

    I am glad you’re alive. Don’t be so stupid again, ok? Use your god damn head, woman.


  • Erica

    2010/02/18 at 11:16 am

    My big plan here is for you to make sitting on a donut fashionable. And then I can start using one. Not because I have a butt injury of any sort, but just because I think it looks more comfy than a regular old chair.

  • Nancy D.

    2010/02/18 at 11:16 am

    I want to commend you for not knocking your doctor flat when she said “you’re in a lot of pain”. I was proud of me when a doctor said the same to me…

    In the middle of the night.
    In the Emergency Room.
    For a sore throat.

    Hmmmm…. Mother of two is in the ER during prime sleeping hours for a sore throat…

    Do ya THINK?

    He gave me Vicodin. It looked THAT BAD.

    Thank YOU Captain Obvious.

    Hope ya feel better!

  • brandistrand

    2010/02/18 at 11:18 am

    I LOVE snowboarding (I’m almost 32, by the way). I bruised my tailbone once I started to feel more confident, and even that took a long recovery. Well, my butt was sore when I sat for an amount of time, but I was able to walk.

    I got right back on that mountain. I think like 2 weeks later, too. I’ve bruised my knee caps falling on ice, I even had knee surgery to fix an injury I had gotten 4 years prior and never did anything about.

    If you even minutely liked snowboarding, you’ll be up on it again. It’s the only sport I like!

    Here’s to a speedy butt recovery!

  • radkitch

    2010/02/18 at 11:18 am

    These are the trials and tribulations of being a bad ass! Get better, grab a noggin bucket, and get back on that slope… that bitch who’s boss!

  • castpier

    2010/02/18 at 11:19 am

    OR, you could always do what I did and live the rest of your life with an abnormally bent tailbone. It really only interferes with like, pilates and stuff. Then again, I was about 2 when I broke it…

  • blackpanther

    2010/02/18 at 11:22 am


  • katszeye

    2010/02/18 at 11:26 am

    Glad you are alive. Maybe the swelling will give you a temporarily inflated, albeit odd-shaped, butt. I broke my tailbone in college while trying to ride a bike down some stairs. Yes, that was really dumb. So embarassing and PAINFUL. Hope you heal soon.

  • Bronwenc

    2010/02/18 at 11:28 am

    Your doctor is a liar. It will hurt much longer than a week. I broke mine in half 29 years ago and it still hurts. To be fair, it was the second break and I developed this weird condition (coccydynia) that causes my tendons to try to pull my tail between my legs (how the physical therapist described it.)

    I can not stress enough that you should not get on a plane without that donut. Something about airplane seats aggravates the area like nothing you have ever felt before. Learn to love your donut for the next 6 weeks.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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